Homily for Feast of All Saints
HOMILY Theme: SAINTHOOD IS FOR YOU AND ME ALSO.
By: Fr Diotacious Chikontwe SMA
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
1 John 3:1-3
On this first day of the month of November, the Church says we should turn our minds to the millions of men and women who have lived exemplary lives on earth, fulfilled the demands of the Gospel, walked the narrow path, shunned the world and its pleasures, some of them married, some virgins, some religious, some priests even bishops and popes, some doctors, nurses, accountants, engineers, farmers, school teachers, professors, some even traditional rulers, selfless warriors.
*FROM THE FIRST READING*
In our first reading today, we heard of the words from the Book of Revelation of St. John the Apostle which detailed his glorious vision of Heaven as he received it during his exile at the island of Patmos. St. John saw a great number of the descendants of Israel, as well as innumerable people of every nations and races, all gathered and brought together in the presence of God. They were all those whom according to the Angel that guided St. John, had lived their lives with faith in God, and there were still many among them who had been persecuted for the Lord.
*FROM THE SECOND READING*
In our second reading today, we then heard from St. John the Apostle in his Epistle, the same St. John who had seen the heavenly vision at Patmos. Whether St. John wrote this Epistle before or after his exile at Patmos and the vision, he knew, after having journeyed with the Lord and receiving the truth through the Holy Spirit and Wisdom of God, that all of us are truly beloved children of God, and therefore as God’s own children, therefore, we are called to be more like our heavenly Father in all things.
*FROM THE GOSPEL READING*
We have heard in our Gospel passage today, were Our Lord spoke to the people in His Sermon on the Mount or the Beatitudes, detailing the eight ways in which we can be truly blessed living our lives with faith, and when the Lord Jesus praised all those who have lived their lives virtuously according to the Eight Beatitudes, in fact He was exhorting and telling all of us to do the same with our lives.
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To be poor in spirit does not mean for us to be physically and materially poor, but rather, it refers to an attitude that we must have in life, to be humble in our disposition and way of life, to be humble and meek in seeking God’s love and fulfilment, to be poor and truly in need of help and guidance from God.
*WHAT DO WE LEARN ON THIS GREAT FEAST ?*
1. Saints were not superhumans unlike what some of us often misunderstood. They had their share of troubles and downfalls, moments when they faltered and failed in faith. Some of the saints were even once great sinners and enemies of the Lord, such as St. Paul, St Augustine of Hippo, St Ignatius of Loyola, and many others led a sinful and worldly lives in their younger days.
2. By looking at the examples of the saints, we are all challenged to follow the Lord and to change our lives, much like how the Lord called Levi, the tax collector, who later on became a great Apostle and Evangelist, St. Matthew, as well as St. Mary Magdalene, who according to some traditions, was a prostitute.
3. All of us have the potential in us to be holy and to end up like the saints, who are now enjoying the glorious inheritance promised to all, as their efforts and deeds were deemed worthy by God and His Church.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us are like that stained glass, and we are all given the opportunity to shine with the light of Christ. But as long as we live in sin, sin is like a dark and thick grease that sticks onto that glass and prevents any light from passing through. As such, a dirty stained glass that is our lives will not be able to shine forth with the light of Christ. How do we then proceed? It is by following the examples of the saints, and asking them for their intercession on our behalf just as we strive to do our best to live our lives in a most Christian manner. In that way, we are making that ‘stained glass’ which is our lives, clean and able to shine with the light of God.
HAPPY FEAST OF ALL THE SAINTS AND MAY THEY ALWAYS CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR YOU AND ME!
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